year in review | Dec 27, 2018 |
The best reads from BOH magazine in 2018

As the year winds down, we’re looking back at the best stories of 2018—including highlights from our print quarterly, BOH. (Want to read them all? Start here. Want immediate access in print and online to upcoming issues? Subscribe or become a BOH Insider to get industry insights and analysis from BOH each quarter.)

The best reads from BOH magazine in 2018
BOH’s Fall 2018 issueIllustrations by Monica Ahanonu

With 2018 heralded as the Year of the Woman, we thought the design industry was ripe for its own revolution. In our shortlist of the leading female changemakers and boundary-breakers, we profiled Clodagh, Deborah Berke, Wendy Goodman, Holly Hunt, Aneeqa Khan, Susan Lyne, Keia McSwain and Kelly Wearstler. (From “Inside the Work and Lives of 8 Visionary Women” in Fall 2018)

The best reads from BOH magazine in 2018
Anna Polonsky and Amy Morris on BOH’s Spring 2018 coverPhoto by Candy Kennedy/Gallery Stock

We also identified 18 industry trailblazers who are building networks, transforming business models and seeking new ways to bring product to market. From Design Miami’s Rodman Primack (who becomes the show’s global ambassador in 2019) to Amy Morris and Anna Polonsky of The MP Shift (who won a 2018 James Beard Award for SoHo cafe De Maria, which then closed suddenly in August), many have realized significant changes and accomplishments this year. They spoke to BOH about where innovation is simmering and offered a firsthand look at what’s next. (From “Design’s Disruptors” in Spring 2018)

It’s been a buzzword in the startup world for years, but a company’s culture is more than just hype. Studies have shown that happy, engaged employees are more productive and better problem-solvers—and the companies they work for perform better too. BOH highlighted design brands large and small that have prioritized employee satisfaction, from hiring and retaining talent to benefits packages, political activism and more. “We’re only successful based on the effort and tenacity our team brings,” Fireclay Tile CEO Eric Edelson told us. “As owners, we believe that to win without sharing that success doesn’t feel right.” (From “Culture Is King” in Fall 2018)

We know that enticing designers to leave the comfort of their Aeron chairs to shop in showrooms has never been more difficult. Our profile on design centers highlighted some of the new ways buildings and brands are sweetening the brick-and-mortar retail experience. And as showroom foot traffic declines, we explored how fabric businesses are turning to a sophisticated network of outside sales representatives to reach designers at their desks. (From “A Foot in the Door” in Spring 2018 and “#ShowroomGoals: On the Road Again” in Fall 2018)

With more and more young designers eschewing the apprenticeship model in favor of setting up shop on their own, we talked to top talents and rising stars to find out whether there are still lessons to be learned working in-house for an established firm. “The firm you work for shapes your worldview and becomes your professional foundation,” architect Ken Pursley told us. “Developing your references, your best, most creative ideas—that comes with time [on the job],” added Brian J. McCarthy. “You’re only as good as the hard work you put in to anything you do, and that includes working for somebody—gaining experience, ways of problem solving, and confidence.” (From “Does Mentorship Still Matter?” in Fall 2018)

For each season, we got two top designers to tackle controversial styles and trends in our Designers Debate column.

Baltimore-based Patrick Sutton and Atlanta designer Susan Ferrier addressed the finer points of timeworn patina and hand-hewn metals versus glimmer and shine. “Matte finishes seem the most honest to me, as they present themselves without gloss or hype,” said Sutton. “Shiny is the person who keeps the conversation going at the dinner table,” shot back Ferrier. “Matte is the drab bore you hope you don’t get seated next to!” (From “Wax On, Wax Off” in Fall 2018)

We took a peek behind the curtains as New York–based designers Alexa Hampton and David Kleinberg faced off on what it means for a window to be properly dressed. “To me, it’s trims and tapes that work to make a room look layered and special. I love all of the decorative details—beautiful hardware, ropes and tassels,” said Hampton. “I’m the Balenciaga to her Givenchy,” countered Kleinberg. “I don’t like anything that is overwrought or unnecessary, and I detest a swag heading on almost anything.” One thing they both agree on? It’s a window treatment or a curtain, but never—ever—drapes. (From “Fringe Benefits” in Summer 2018)

The best reads from BOH magazine in 2018
Windows two ways: Rooms by Alexa Hampton (left) and David Kleinberg (right) exemplify their divergent viewpoints.Hampton, Scott Frances; Kleinberg, courtesy of DKDA

San Francisco–based designers Eche Martinez and Emilie Munroe schooled us on what should (or shouldn’t) happen behind closed doors. “Unless you love dusting, open shelving is definitely a trend to pass on,” insisted Martinez. “An open shelf is a blank canvas that’s full of opportunity, and the increased accessibility of everyday essentials is a huge bonus in busy, dynamic lives,” said Munroe. (From “Kitchen Conundrum: Closed Cabinetry or Open Shelving?” in Spring 2018)

Robert Stilin and Shawn Henderson (friends and New York studio neighbors) duked it out on how to live with the art they love: “Salon-style artwork allows you to show the breadth of a collection,” said Stilin. “I have five pieces of art in my whole house, so I love to tease Robert about all of his collections,” replied Henderson. (From “Gallery Wall or Statement Piece?” in Winter 2018)

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